You’re probably guilty of falling victim to the constant distractions that are around us on a daily basis. Whether it’s the pinging of new messages on your phone, email notifications on computer or something else, we’re always being distracted from the things we should be focusing on instead.
It’s time to put an end to the distractions so you can finally upgrade your concentration.
What is focus?
Before we get into the ways you can increase your focus, we need to first talk about what focus is. Focus is the act of concentrating your attention on something and in order to do that, you need to be able to ignore the distractions and other things going on around you. It’s all about giving your attention to what’s important in that present moment. Easier said than done, right?
The reason so many people fail at being focused is because they have trouble deciding what to actually focus on. Because we lead busy lives and feel like we’re often running out of time, we wind up finding it impossible to choose just one thing to focus on. As a result, we begin to multi-task, taking on many things at once, which isn’t the best idea.
While we’re fully capable of doing two things at the same time, we’re unable to focus on two things at the same time. You’re always either focused on the first task or second task in any given moment, but never both at the same time. So, when you multi-task, you actually wind up switching your focus back and forth between the tasks. This isn’t great for your brain because it isn’t able to make those transitions between tasks seamlessly. Whenever you stop doing one task and switch to the other, it always takes a minute or two to remember what you were doing and to get back on track.
The good news is, it’s absolutely possible to upgrade your concentration and become more focused on the task at hand. And it doesn’t have to be hard to achieve this! Start implementing these tips and you’re sure to feel a heightened sense of focus and concentration, no matter what task is at hand…
1. Exercise regularly.
You may be a little tired of seeing exercise as a recommended tip on any kind of health and wellness article, but there’s a good reason why… It’s important! Regular exercise isn’t just great for keeping our bodies healthier and fitter, but it’s also essential for our mental health as well. Don’t believe us?
Dr. John Ratey, author of “Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain”, found that a workout session can actually increase your focus for two to three hours after you’ve finished your exercise. That’s pretty impressive! And the good news is, it doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym and start lifting weights. Any kind of exercise that elevates your heart rate will get the job done.
Here are a few tips on how you can incorporate exercise into your day to help increase focus…
- Go for a mid-day walk to get both fresh air and some time on your feet.
- Bring some weights to the office for when you start to lose concentration.
- Add pushups to your morning routine.
The important thing here is to just get your body moving. And if you feel yourself hitting a slump midday, take a break to go for a quick walk and you’ll return to your desk feeling productive, focused, and ready to take on your next task.
2. Get hydrated.
It’s no secret that water provides many benefits for our bodies. It’s essential to stay hydrated, but has also been shown to be great for our skin and can help flush toxins from our bodies. But did you know that it’s also essential if you want to stay focused? Research on dehydration has found this to be true! A study was conducted on 25 women and the results were subsequently published in the Journal of Nutrition. The results of this study showed that the women tested experienced headache symptoms, a loss of focus, feelings of fatigue, and low mood when dehydrated. These women were not severely dehydrated for this study and were only around 1% lower than the optimal amount of hydration.
This just goes to show how important water is for both our bodies and our minds. So, if you find that you’re having trouble focusing on your work or that you’re always lacking energy or in a bad mood, ask yourself if you’re properly hydrated. If not, grab a glass!
3. Eat some “brain foods.”
Now that you know how important it is to drink plenty of water, it’s also a good idea to consider the foods you’re consuming as well. The foods you put into your body have a direct impact on your mood, energy levels, and yes, your focus. In order to upgrade your concentration levels, you need to fuel your body with good, healthy foods. So, which foods are great “brain foods” that you should add to your diet?
Avocados are a fantastic food to eat if you want to improve cognitive function. However, many people are afraid to consume avocados because they have a lot of fat. It’s important to note that avocados are actually loaded with monosaturated fats, which are the good kind of fat. You can add it to a smoothie or top a piece of toast with it for a great treat.
Other green foods that are great for you include the following…
- Broccoli: A fantastic option because it contains high levels of vitamin K and choline, which will keep your memory sharp.
- Celery: A nice choice for a snack because it has plenty of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Green, leafy vegetables have been shown to prevent dementia, which is great for long-term mental health.
- Spinach: This leafy green contains high levels of chlorophyll and health promoting carotenoids (beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin). These have anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation can cause the dreded “brain fog”, spinach is great for keeping your mind focused.
- Blueberries: These little fruits make the list because they’re packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. They also contain gallic acid, which is great for protecting our brains from degeneration and the effects of stress. You can easily get a dose of blueberries by adding them to a smoothie or your oatmeal, or even pairing them with yogurt.
- Dark Chocolate: There’s good news for those of you who are chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate is great for improving blood flow to the heart and also to your brain. The key here is to skip the milk and white chocolates and go for a dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. Dark chocolate is also an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s the best way to satisfy those chocolate cravings.
4. Have a meditation session.
If you’re struggling to stay focused throughout the day, you should try having a meditation session. Meditation teaches mindfulness and is a great way to improve your focus and even boost your mood as it promotes positive emotions. While many are intimidated by the process of meditation, it’s actually quite simple and you’ll likely notice yourself feeling refreshed and more peaceful when you do it regularly.
Here’s what you need to know in order to try meditation for yourself: First, you’ll want to find a quiet space where you can be alone. You can either sit on the floor with your legs crossed or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Then, close your eyes and just focus on your breath. Breathe deeply in and out. Thoughts will certainly cross your mind during this process and it’s fine to acknowledge them, but let them pass and return your focus to your breath. Doing this for five to 10 minutes will work wonders on your mental focus.
If you find that you have trouble meditating on your own (perhaps you struggle to focus just on your breath), you can always do a guided meditation. You can find plenty of resources online such as meditation videos or audio tracks that will lead you through a full meditation session. There’s also an app called Headspace that’s dedicated to meditation. It’s perfect whether you’ve been meditating for a while or if you’re a beginner. The key thing to remember is that the more you practice meditation, the better you will get. You’ll notice better results when you practice it on a daily basis, so try incorporating meditation into your morning routine for optimal results.
5. Do some decluttering.
Take a look around your workspace. Is it neat and tidy or is it cluttered, disorganized chaos? Even if you claim to know where everything is located, having a cluttered workspace isn’t doing you any favors. And you may not realize it, but it could be impacting your concentration levels in a negative way.
In fact, too much clutter can inhibit your brain’s ability to focus and process information. This was discovered by a group of researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute. Instead of focusing on the work you need to get done, your brain gets distracted by all the clutter that’s surrounding you. Use that as motivation to go tidy up your workspace right now! Get rid of anything that you no longer need and file those piles of papers into their correct locations.
It’s also helpful to get into the habit of cleaning your workspace when you finish work at the end of each day. Before you walk out of the office, take a few extra minutes to put things away, straighten up anything around your desk, and toss anything you don’t actually need to keep. When you walk into your office the next morning, you’ll appreciate having a tidy desk waiting for you.
6. Try taking supplements.
There are a ton of supplements on the market today and it can be hard to figure out what the benefits are of each one and which you should be taking on a regular basis. One great option that we’ve previously reviewed is to combine Lumonol with MagTech.
The reason Lumonol is so powerful for brain-boosting is because it contains CDP Choline and noopept, plus guarana for an increase in energy. When paired with MagTech, you’ll notice an upgrade in your concentration when you’re able to focus better on the things you need to get done. MagTech works well because of its absorbable magnesium compounds that can improve overall brain function. Together, these two act quickly and give you a long-lasting effect.
7. Take a break.
The reality is, we sometimes have trouble focusing because we just need to take a break. If you’ve been working on the same task for hours and you’re having trouble concentrating, that’s a good sign to give your brain a rest. Take this opportunity to walk away from your computer and do something that doesn’t have anything to do with the task you were previously working on.
It’s also a good idea to incorporate frequent, but small, breaks into your schedule. Don’t wait until you’re feeling totally fried to take a break. By taking breaks throughout the day, you can (hopefully) avoid any kind of major meltdown. If you find yourself getting too wrapped up in your work and forgetting about taking breaks, try scheduling them into your day or using the Pomodoro technique. It’s designed to have you work for 25 focused minutes, followed by a five-minute break. This technique has been shown to increase your concentration levels and even improve attention span.
The post How to Focus: 7 Proven Ways to Upgrade Your Concentration Immediately appeared first on Brain Wiz.